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Record-breaking river levels start to fall in Hungary

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Record-breaking river levels start to fall in Hungary
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It was the worst flooding ever recorded in Budapest but now, slowly, the levels of the river Danube are coming down.

The Danube peaked at 8.91 metres on Sunday night, above the 8.6 metre record in the 2006 floods.

Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, says the major focus is now to strengthen flood defences in the south of the country: “Today we are relocating the focus of the flood prevention. The capital is over the worst. We had to concentrate on the north before, but now we have to concentrate on the south.”

Parts of Budapest are still at risk. In some parts, lorries and buses park up on roads near to the river, to avoid rising water in the city’s tunnels.

Most people though are breathing a sigh of relief that the city escaped serious damage.

The main problem now is getting traffic moving, with so many roads closed. Even travelling on a bike is fraught with difficulties. One cyclist in Budapest told euronews: “I had to take a longer way, because a lot of roads are closed and it is also difficult to go on the pavement.”

Euronews Budapest correspondent, Andrea Hajagos, says there is a sense of calm in the city: “Although some people are annoyed about the traffic, it seems to me that most people in Budapest are quite calm about the situation. Even if there has never been such a huge flood here.”